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Licenses and riding (or walking really)(21 posts)

Licenses and riding (or walking really)mk_42
Oct 3, 2001 12:53 PM
This has recently come up in a couple of posts: can you get a ticket riding on your bike. I've been surprised to find out that the answer seems to be yes. I mean there isn't a license requirement for riding a bike (or being a pedestrian) so how can they demand you have one? If a cop stops you and you don't have your license what can they actually do? Can they search you? Arrest you? What if you lie and say you don't have a license? Do you have any legal (not moral, *legal*) obligation to tell them?

I seem to remember hearing in highschool that when people got stopped for jaywalking they gave a fake name. I don't remember if that worked or if it was even true.

Just for the record I believe that you have a moral responsibility to accept a ticket or other punishment if you do something wrong. But from a legal standpoint, do we have to accept a ticket on foot or on our bikes?

re: Licenses and riding (or walking really)TJeanloz
Oct 3, 2001 1:03 PM
In Colorado (and I believe California), it is the law that adults must carry an identification card. For most of us, this is our drivers license. But if you have your license revoked, they issue you an identification card. The punishment is that you can be jailed until you provide identification.

It seems like this ought to be un-constitutional, but it's not, with the simple reasoning that citizens need to be able to identify themselves as citizens before the bill of rights applies. Without the ID law, illegal immigrants could keep themselves secure by simply never carrying ID.

From a legal standpoint do we have to accept a ticket? Of course. You (usually) don't get a ticket unless you break the law. And if you break the law, you are legally responsible for the punishment.
re: Licenses and riding (or walking really)bikedodger
Oct 3, 2001 1:15 PM
There is no law in Colorado that requires adults to carry an identification card. While the state does issue non-license ID to those who want them, there is no requirement to have one. The main purpose of the ID is to allow easier check cashing (and boarding of airplanes).

You can properly identify ourself by giving your name and address.

If you don't accept (sign) the ticket, the police can arrest you wheter or not you have ID.

re: Licenses and riding (or walking really)TJeanloz
Oct 3, 2001 1:29 PM
That's not the information that I have from the Boulder PD who issued me a written warning for not carrying "proper identification", attached to my warning for going more than 50 mph down Lee Hill road.
maybe what he meantDog
Oct 3, 2001 1:32 PM
was that if you don't have "proper identification," he could arrest you and take you "downtown." In other words, you don't have to carry it, but that's the risk you take if you get stopped.

re: Licenses and riding (or walking really)bikedodger
Oct 3, 2001 1:41 PM
I always chicken out at around 50MPH doing down Lee Hill Road.

Don't always believe everything the police tell you. I was once told by a policeman that riding on the road was illegal (he just didn't like cyclists). I just stood there and nodded my head and said yes sir until he left, then I got back on the road and continued the trip.
50 MPH...ColnagoFE
Oct 3, 2001 2:24 PM
I've gotten up into the double nickel speeds on Lee Hill if there is no traffic to slow me down. That route is a screamer. Never seen a cop there though. Have to be more careful I guess. What is the speed 30-35? It's so nice and straight with just enough curves to make it interesting. I always pray that a deer doesn't decide to come out on the road though. Wouldn't be pretty.
50 MPH...bikedodger
Oct 3, 2001 2:35 PM
I've never see a law enforcement officer there either. Where was he parked? There are not a lot of good spots for a cop to hide out.
50 MPH...TJeanloz
Oct 3, 2001 4:37 PM
I used to live at the tippity top of Deer Trail (go to the top of Lee Hill road, turn left- then things get steep and unpaved). I got to know the road pretty well riding to and from school, and you could EASILY do 50 on the long straight-a-way just below the 'meadow' (the sort of false summit). The cop was stuck in the driveway on the right hand side- on a motorcycle. That's where he got me, but he didn't actually get the riot act reading until he caught me at the Holiday Inn at the bottom.
Legal obligationmk_42
Oct 3, 2001 1:17 PM
I'm not an expert but I do know that if you did something illegal but the proof is illegal that you are not guilty. I may not know the details but I think that's the gist of it. So it doesn't seem that you are always legally responsible for the consequences if you did something illegal. It seems more like you are legally responsible only if certain other conditions are true.

If stopped by a cop...mr_spin
Oct 3, 2001 1:17 PM
...always break and run away. They love that. False names, they love that stuff too. It's all part of the game. :)

I've wondered the same thing, since I normally only carry enough ID to identify myself in an emergency. I'm not carrying my driver's license with me! I think in California, a cop can legally drag you in and hold you until you can identify yourself. I think you would really have to do something stupid or adopt a real attitude for a cop to go that far.

Running a stop sign is a clear cut case. More interesting to me is that in theory, I could a speeding ticket on a bike. But since there is no requirement that bikes have speedometers, would this hold up in court?
good pointsDog
Oct 3, 2001 1:30 PM
No, you do not have to carry I.D. Yes, if a cop has cause to stop you, and decides to cite you, unless you can produce adequate I.D., he has the right to arrest you, book you, and establish who you are.

You can be arrested for all sorts of offenses regardless of whether you are driving. There are pedestrian offenses. Breach of the peace. Lewd behavior. Likewise, you can be cited for offenses on a bike regardless of whether you even have a driver's license.

Sure, you can get speeding ticket. The law prohibits speeding. It's up to you to figure out how to obey the law. Further, with infractions, and some misdemeanors, such as speeding, your state of mind or intent is irrelevant. You did it, is all that counts (generally).

good pointsLen J
Oct 3, 2001 2:32 PM
The way the cop who gave me the ticket explained it to me was that anyone operating a vehicle on public roads is subject to operate it under the law. A bike is considered a vehicle.

Hence you can be cited.

If stopped by a cop...LLSmith
Oct 3, 2001 1:34 PM
Yes,your speeding ticket would hold up in court.Just because you did not know you were speeding does not mean you were not speeding.As the judge told me many years ago"young man,I don't care if your speedometer was working properly or not. The fact is that you were speeding. Now young man,you can plead not guilty and pay court cost and the fine or you can plead guilty and only pay the fine". I plead guilty and saved the court cost.
Speedometer not working...mk_42
Oct 3, 2001 2:44 PM
I personally know of a speeding ticket that got dismissed because the spedometer was not in working order (it was about 5 miles off). It was a correctable offense. He got it fixed, got a paper saying so, and the ticket was dropped. I wonder if that only works if you had a speedometer and you thought it was working and it wasn't. Either way, you can only dip that well once.

Speeding without indication.mk_42
Oct 3, 2001 2:52 PM
I got a warning from a cop for going 12 in a 5 (in a parking lot) once. I tried to argue that my car had it's lowest line at 10, and that was where the needle rested at zero (I've noticed since then that few speedometers go all the way to zero). He said it didn't matter, but didn't give me the ticket in the end so maybe it did.

Speeding without indication.mr_spin
Oct 3, 2001 3:03 PM
If the parking lot was private property, the police are out of their jurisdiction for most traffic matters. He probably couldn't have cited you even if he wanted to.
speeding ticketJofa
Oct 3, 2001 3:18 PM
On a general point raised, a friend of mine received and paid a speeding ticket, for speeding on his bicycle: he was recorded by GATSO camera at about 50mph, in a 30 limit, about 10 years ago. (In the UK btw). The policeman who issued the ticket admitted at the time that it was mainly for novelty value, but my friend (my coach, in fact- so much for deferred responsibility of minors) conceded responsibility- the fine was small and I think he was secretly proud- at any rate, he framed the ticket. He never contested it in court though he may have had grounds to, but that would have minimised his oppurtunities to show off the ticket in the clubhouse.

re: Licenses and riding (or walking really)roy Zipris
Oct 3, 2001 3:50 PM
For the record, traffic laws.and the powers that police have to demand to see an ID and to detain you for minor offenses if you do not have one would be a matter of state law, so there could be 51 variations on that theme (including federal/DC law).

Morality has nothing to do with the law in reality. Whether or not you "accept" the ticket (ie, let it drop to the ground?) is irrelevant; it's been issued, you've been cited. You don't however have to "accept" the conviction. You can dispute it at a hearing where you are entitled to the presumption of innocence. If the cop does not appear, plead not guilt: there would be no evidence against you and you should be acquitted. That's the way the system works--or is supposed to work.

Similarly, what cops are allowed to do and what some rogue cops actually may do will vary widely; moreover, it's a brave citizen who risks telling a cop that he or she is doing something illegal. TV doesn't show the half of what goies on out in the streets.
Exactlly! Try riding your bike being black.Stickers
Oct 3, 2001 5:22 PM
My friend lives near me. I have never been pulled over and asked for I.D., but my friend, a black man, told me that he is guaranteed a trip to jail if stopped by the town police, and not have identification. We both ride at night. He is stopped often.
try this one for sizeDutchy
Oct 3, 2001 11:31 PM
OK, so a bike is a vehicle. In Australia if I get ticketed for speeding on my bike I will lose demerit points off my car license. But if I lose my licence for drink driving I can still ride my bike. So is my bike a vehicle or not.